COLUMBIA – The scheduling conflict with Liberty’s football team might have caused South Carolina to scramble to find a nonconference opponent for 2023, but the Gamecocks saved money for the guarantee date in the long run.
USC announced last week the addition of a matchup with Jacksonville State Nov. 4, 2023, replacing the game with Liberty that had been agreed upon in 2019. USC has agreed to pay JSU $1.3 million for their visit to Williams-Brice Stadium, a university spokesperson told The Greenville News.
That amount represents slight savings than the game with Liberty, which was on the books to run South Carolina $1.5 million.
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With Liberty transitioning from FBS independent to Conference USA in the summer of 2023, it needed to free up dates for future conference matchups and the Nov. 4 trip to Columbia was one of the casualties of the university’s new alignment.
Jacksonville State will transition from FCS to Conference USA the same summer as Liberty and has three nonconference games scheduled in 2023, including the trip to USC.
As a precaution due to potential scheduling issues on both sides – there is a possibility current Big 12 members Oklahoma and Texas could join the SEC by 2023 and that could cause a schedule restructure – USC and Jacksonville State agreed to a smaller, $500,000 buyout in the event more movement needs to happen.
South Carolina has finalized its four nonconference dates in 2023 with the addition of JSU.
The Gamecocks will kick off that season at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte against old rival North Carolina in a neutral site game Sept. 2 before hosting instate FCS for Furman the following week. The annual Palmetto Bowl against rival Clemson rounds out USC’s nonconference matchups Nov. 25.
Cory Diaz covers the South Carolina Gamecocks for The Greenville News as part of the USA TODAY Network. Follow his work for all things Gamecocks on Twitter: @CoryDiaz_TGN. Got questions regarding South Carolina athletics? Send them to Cory Diaz at email@example.com.